How to Create a Life You Enjoy Living

This is my life… my story… my book. I will no longer let anyone else write it; nor will I apologize for the edits I make.
-Steve Maraboli

What is life if not worth living?

The truth is, you really can change your life to one that you enjoy living… at least most of the time. No one’s life is perfect but we all have the power to make our lives better.

A lot of this power of change might very well include shifting your mental energy to better things and/or things you can actually change. So fair warning: this isn’t some magical or easy answer to live your dream life. After all, if it were, I would have been doing so in my own life for a while now.

Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we’ll ever do.
-Brene Brown

The good news is that you can OWN your life and shape it to be something you actually enjoy living. Here I will share with you some things that I have personally learned in my pursuit to a better life for myself:

First of all, remember that you are worth this and you deserve a life you can enjoy living.
You are worth living a life you find satisfying and rewarding. It will take quite a bit of work, and a lot of mentality changes, but it is so very possible.

Realize that your idea of a life that’s satisfying and rewarding may be quite different than others’ idea of that life.
This is your life. It isn’t up to them how you live it. Don’t let others’ opinions poison your mind and make you doubt your abilities. You are powerful and a force to be reckoned with. You have so many more options open to you than you can even see right now. Open your mind to them. If other people don’t like it, then they can just deal with it or move on.

Think about what you really want out of life, either long-term or short-term, or even both.
What do you want your life to look like? What do you want your future to hold? Consider what your biggest dreams are right now. Don’t limit yourself to what you feel is possible for you right now. Like I mentioned above, there are so many more options available to you than you can see right now and you never know what you can accomplish until you set out to do it!

Weigh the pros and cons to your decisions. Can you really imagine living your life if you follow through with that decision?
Considering the good and the bad that could result from each decision you make. Is that decision really worth making when you consider the negatives that may come from it? Sometimes the positives actually outweigh the negatives or the sacrifice is worth what you get in return. Thinking in these terms for bigger decisions, and sometimes even smaller ones, can really make a difference. At the very least, it makes you think twice before taking a plunge.

Make goals that are actually reachable and allow you time to pursue them, and then craft a plan to meat the goal(s).
I wasn’t lying when I mentioned that you shouldn’t only consider possible for yourself. However, in order to pursue your goals, they still need to be realistic for you and your circumstances. You can make plans to make some goals fit into your life, while others may be a dream to hold off for another time. Think of the resources you have at your disposal right now or that you could possibly use. Wherever there’s a will, there’s a way!

Take action because none of this means much if you don’t actually take any action to achieve it.
Make plans and prepare, but also take action. All the preparation in the world will mean nothing if you don’t move forward with those plans. You may have to start before you’re ready and that’s okay. Some of it will have to be figured out as you go along because you can’t possibly see the whole path all at once.

Scale back on the negatives… Cut anything out of your life that sucks energy away from you or makes you miserable.
There is no space in your life for the negatives. Those people, tasks, or things in your life that suck energy away from you and leave you depleted… whatever you can let go of, do it! It’s not worth holding onto those things if they are keeping you from the life you want (and sometimes need) to live. Some of these things will be okay without you and some of them may not. However, your wellbeing is more important than most of them if you truly consider it. I’m not saying chuck important things from your life, by any means, but dispose of anything that you can that causes you misery.

Grow the positives- focus on any and all positives.
Along the same lines as the point above, focus on any and all positives and elaborate on them. Make those positives the center of your life and your life will begin to take shape around them as if they are the most important thing. It takes time but it certainly helps!

I wish to live a life that causes my soul to dance inside my body.
-Dele Olanubi

So I ask you, what do you really want from your life? Do you think it’s really possible?

 

~Bonnie~

Looking on the Bright Side of Life

Focusing on the bright side of your life is part of taking care of YOU and loving yourself.

People often say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I say the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder!
-Salma Hayek

Last month I posted about how I made some positivity/blessings jars and you can check that out here: How Making a Positivity Jar Can Help You. This has proven to be a great tool for me because it helps me work through each day in a positive light. Think about it: you’re sifting through the parts of your day, much like files in a drawer, looking for each particular positive. You kind of have to work through everything that happened in order to find the pearls of positivity.

You don’t even have to make these types of jars in order to work through your day either. Sometimes simply exercising, journaling, or blogging can really help a lot. You might even find something else that you can integrate into your routine that will help you focus on the positive.

Know what sparks the light in you. Then use that light to illuminate the world.
-Oprah Winfrey

Teaching yourself how to focus on the positive in your life can really help you in general as well. This form of positive reinforcement is encouraging and can even be fun! You are basically rewarding yourself for all your hard work.

What you can do to establish this habit:

  • Review your day– work through the negative and emphasize the positive. Processing what happened throughout the day can be really therapeutic. You can do this in any way that feels comfortable and most natural to you.
  • Give yourself a pep talk– tell yourself how well you did today and praise yourself for all of your accomplishments. You have more than earned this recognition!
  • Talk to someone or blog– discuss your day, mention your concerns or worries, and most of all celebrate the positive!
  • Treat/reward yourself– Give yourself an actual “treat” for your hard work, such as time to yourself, getting your hair or nails done, going shopping at your favorite story, purchasing a book or game that you’ve wanted for a while.

What do you get in return (the results):

  • You are encouraging yourself to keep moving forward each time you acknowledge the positive that has already happened. It also allows you to picture what possibilities of positive that you might have in the future if you keep working hard.
  • By training your brain to look at the positive within yourself and your life, you are also becoming your own best support system and cheerleader… which can be one of the biggest things you can do for yourself in your weight loss journey. You are learning how to depend on yourself the most, instead of relying on others for that same satisfaction.
  • Any shred of light, happiness, love, peace, or comfort is all magnified when you choose to focus on these things!

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.
-Maya Angelou

Building this habit of focusing on the bright side of life can really help you feel happier and more peaceful. It may take time and lots of practice, but someday you will look back and see that you have come so far and you will be happy you made the decision to be more positive!

 

~Bonnie~

10 Ways to De-Stress When Life is Overwhelming

As I mentioned last week, with Valentine’s Day coming up soon, we are all thinking about love in some form. Whether it be a significant other, another family member, a crush, or even simply disliking the holiday… Let’s just accept the facts, we know it’s coming and it is probably on our minds.

What I feel is most important is loving ourselves and taking care of ourselves. Even if we have a loved one to spend the holiday or our time with, we need to take the time to take care of ourselves.

One of our biggest downfalls as human beings is stressing out. We’re constantly bombarded by anything and everything, we have mountains and mountains of work not to mention our home life to juggle, or we simply feel overwhelmed about life in general.

Here are some things you can do pretty much anywhere or anytime to de-stress when life is causing you to feel overwhelmed for whatever reason:

  1. Write. Journal, blog, or jot a few notes down on a piece of paper to work through what you’re feeling. It’s quick and it helps a ton. Not only are you organizing your thoughts, but writing and rereading what you wrote can help you discover new things or come to realizations you wouldn’t have otherwise.
  2. Read. Grab your favorite book or any good book and start reading it. It could be a novel, a self-help book, a real life story, anything that you find pleasing. Reading is relaxing because it gets you out of your own mind and into another world. While you’re taking a mental vacation between the pages, your mind can process other thoughts and feelings, which in turn helps you work through your feelings and calm down.
  3. Listen to music. This one can be a given to a lot of us, but even though I love music, sometimes I can forget that it’s such a stress reliever. Pump up your favorite tunes, turn on your favorite radio station, or watch music videos. Sing along and even dance along, let those tunes carry you away!
  4. Take a walk or workout. Taking a walk in the fresh air or getting a workout in can allow you to work through your thoughts and feelings as well. You can take out your frustration or disappointment and work super hard in your workout. Going for a walk is great too as it’s another way to get outside of your head while still allowing your mind to work through things.
  5. Call a friend. Do you have a buddy you like to talk to when you need to just get it all out? Call, email, or message them. A true friend will always be there for you, as a listening ear or to give you advice if you want it (or sometimes when you don’t want it). Talking through things allows you to hear things from another perspective, out loud as well as through feedback from your friend.
  6. Color. Coloring isn’t just for kids anymore. Grab or print a coloring page and something to color with and start coloring. It is really therapeutic. It allows you to zone out and do something with both your mind and hands that is constructive. Your pictures do not even have to be pretty for this to work. If you think this is something for you, I would also encourage you to go to the store and pick out a kids or adult coloring book and coloring utensils that make you excited to color: colored pencils, markers, crayons, colored pens, anything works!
  7. Housework/organize. Work on cleaning, organizing, or decluttering your house, yard, or car. Making everything clean and fresh is remarkably refreshing to your mind as well!
  8. Pamper yourself. Go see a movie on your own or with a friend/loved one, get your hair cut or colored, get your nails done, go to the library to spend some quiet time, visit a museum, spend some time in nature, or just do anything that makes you feel pampered and relaxed. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Just give it some thought and pick something that works for you.
  9. Play. Play with your kids or pets, or those of friends/family members. It will help release the inner kid in you and help you feel more carefree and alive! Trust me, it is fun! Be silly and throw yourself into it!
  10. Hot shower/bath. Water therapy. Take a nice relaxing bath if you can, or a hot shower. If you have access to a pool or hot tub, those can be amazingly relaxing as well. Whatever floats your boat!

My personal favorites are walking, writing, and reading. If I’m really antsy or anxious, putting myself to work picking up the house or organizing things helps me too. It gives me something to do physically that betters my world in some way! I also love to pamper myself whenever I get the chance to.

What is your favorite way to de-stress when you feel overwhelmed?

 

~Bonnie~

Loving Yourself as You Are

With Valentine’s Day coming up in less than two weeks, so many of us are thinking of love… So I wanted to mention how important loving yourself is! Whether or not you have a significant other, you need to love yourself. This is definitely easier said than done and I know that from experience. It took me a long time to accept myself as I was and love what makes me, me. However, now that I do, I feel so much more comfortable in my own skin.

Thinking about what you like about yourself at least once a day can seem like a huge task, but is so worth it. It’s like an exercise for your mind and helps you strengthen your view of yourself, a little at a time. Journaling your thoughts might be the easiest way to make more concrete progress because actively writing down what you like about yourself really helps you absorb it better, but you can also just simply take a few minutes each day to reflect on these things. Start or end your day with a few minutes of dedicated time spent appreciating yourself.

Another thing you can do to learn to love yourself is to think kind thoughts as you go about your day. Each time you think something negative or put yourself down, correct yourself gently and replace that with something positive and kind. It takes practice but before you know it, it will become more of a habit! Becoming your own biggest cheerleader will pay off so much in the long run. Practicing positivity and kindness towards yourself will help you cheer yourself on and learn to rely on yourself the most!

First of all, I want you to remember that you are beautiful, and you are worth it.

Here are some questions to ask yourself
(Just do your best to answer each one):

  1. What are you most proud of? Think of things you have accomplished, whether you had set out to accomplish them or not.
  2. What do you like most about yourself? List any and all things you like about yourself. Even just one thing about yourself will be better than none!
  3. List three physical qualities you like about yourself. It could be something as simple as your eye color or something more complex, you decide!
  4. List three personality traits/characteristics you like about yourself. Again, list things that are simple if it helps. Anything you feel comfortable listing is the right answer. Just make sure you list all three!
  5. List three skills that you are proud to have. You have many skills, whether you can see that or not. Now is your chance to really think about what skills you have that are valuable to yourself or others.
  6. List three experiences or lessons learned that you feel have shaped you into the person you are today, in a positive way. We all have many experiences like this. It can be hard to see the positive that comes from them sometimes but they are there!
  7. What are three positive things that have happened recently?
  8. What are three negative things that have happened lately that you can put a positive spin on? Think about what positive things have come from negative happenings.

Also, here are some positive affirmations that might help you go about your day in a more positive and kind manner:

  • I am strong and I am capable!
  • know I can do this!
  • Just do your best. You don’t have to be perfect and as long as you’re doing your best, or striving to do your best, you will achieve so much!
  • I am beautiful and I am worth it. 
  • I am lovable.

 

~Bonnie~

P.S. You can download a worksheet copy of these questions to fill in or print and answer later. Just click this link: Love Yourself as You Are.

You are So Worth It


Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.
-Oscar Wilde


This simple little quote really says it all, doesn’t it? We need to choose to be ourselves because we are unique, valuable beings. It is important to be you and be proud to be who you are.

You are beautiful and you are worth it, remember that. There are no qualifications or conditions that make you so. You just are because you are a one-of-a-kind person with qualities and traits that make you uniquely you.

Take a moment now, if you can, and think about your beauty. Let it fill you with promise and love for yourself. You have something to offer the world. So remember that the next time you’re getting down on yourself. Think of all the things you have accomplished and will continue to accomplish. Quiet that negative voice in your mind.


Now is the best time to start becoming the person we want to be.
-Alan Watts


It is never too late to build yourself up. If you or other people in your life have been continuously putting you down, then it might take longer to achieve results. However, it will never be too late to turn your self-image around… to learn how to love yourself.

Take it day by day. Think positive thoughts. Encourage yourself and become your own very best cheerleader. Tell yourself when you’re doing a good job, give yourself a pat on the back for it. Reward yourself from time to time for all of your hard work. You are worth all of this!


It is never too late to be who you might have been.
-George Elliot


Like I mentioned above, it truly is never too late to work on you. Why…? Because we will all be continuously working on ourselves throughout our lifetime. We are never done, and that is not a bad thing!

This gives us infinite possibilities to do what we want, to achieve the things we really want to achieve, and to spend time doing what we truly want to. It won’t be all puppies and rainbows, but it will definitely be rewarding and fulfilling.

The more you build yourself up, the more things you will be able to achieve… and the more you achieve, the higher your dreams will soar. I know this from personal experience. You will learn that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Life is full of chances and choices you might not have even considered before.

Your whole world shifts the more you believe in yourself and your abilities, your beauty and your worth. So let me tell you that the world is beautiful with this clarified view!

Join me in believing in you and your ability to make your dreams come true! I have faith in you!

 

Would you like quotes like this with encouraging words every day of the year? Check out my 365 Days of Inspiration: Quotes + Words of Wisdom, which is on pre-order by clicking that link.

~Bonnie~

New Year’s Product & Black Friday Sale Coming Soon

New Year’s is only six weeks away. Are you ready to make 2016 your best year ever?

If you’re not sure where to start or would like something to help guide you, I am working on a New Year’s product for you which will include:

  • 31 Day Best You Kickstart
  • 12 Monthly Goals Printables
  • 365 Days of Inspiration
  • Tips Sheet to Make Changes Stick
  • Goals to Become the Best You workbook + guide
  • Empower Yourself Workbook
  • Picturing the Year Workbook
  • Getting Started Workbook (expanded version)
  • Getting Started Printable Checklists of various helpful tools and shopping lists
  • Other helpful guides and information to help you throughout the year

There will be different packages of this, or the whole package altogether, depending on what you need help with or want to purchase. Keep your eyes open because I will be announcing more about this product in a couple weeks and should be releasing it mid-December so that you can get a head start before the New Year even starts!

These are all tried and true methods, plus inspirational tools that will help you throughout the year. They are all tools, methods, and information that I have found helpful in my own weight loss journey.

I made 2015 my best year so far, and I’m ready to make 2016 even better! I have things planned and dreams I want to shoot for. I’m not going to let anything stand in my way and neither should you!


Speaking of planning and dreams… My Goals to Become the Best You e-course is still open for enrollment! I will be having a 48-hour Black Friday sale on it slashing the price in half! The sale will start Thursday night so keep your eyes out for Tuesday’s blog post!

If you have problems sticking to your goals or get discouraged easily, this course is definitely for you! The workbook + guide provided in the course will walk you through a step-by-step process to create and pursue goals that work for you. You will be able to work through it at your own pace while also having the added benefit of individual help through the Community within. If you have any questions or need help with anything, you will be able to post to the Community and I will check in regularly to help you out!

goals ecourse mockups
Click this link to visit the course website to see more information: Goals to Become the Best You

This workbook + guide is also available separately and will also be on sale for half off for the same 48-hour period! Here is the website where that is posted so you can read a bit more about it as well: Goals to Become the Best You workbook + guide.

I am even posting the lesson list right here so you know what you can expect to learn from it:

  1. Setting Realistic Goals
  2. Setting Adequate Timeframes
  3. Setting Milestone Goals
  4. Keeping Your Eyes on the Prize
  5. Adjusting
  6. Moving Forward No Matter What
  7. Troubleshooting (as needed)
  8. Reflection
  9. Recovery
  10. Celebrate!
  11. Making New Goals
  12. BONUS: Reach for the Stars!

I will be posting the special 50% off code for these products on Tuesday, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

 

~Bonnie~

P.S. There might even be another new product and smaller sale on other items… So make sure to visit my blog on Tuesday!

How to Change Your Perception of Yourself

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Mirror, Mirror, On the Wall.”

Mirror, mirror, on the wall…

What is it that you see in the mirror each morning? Do you see the beauty that is within you? Do you see all that you have to offer yourself, others, the world? Believe me, you have plenty to offer.

I see your reflection, you’re unsure and maybe even scared to follow your dreams… to believe that you are truly beautiful, inside and out. However, I ask you to trust me. Trust me when I say that you are beautiful.

You have valuable and helpful things to offer to others. You do them every day. To you they might seem small, but they are big to those watching from the outside. Try looking at yourself as others might see you. See your actions how others would see them.

___

Mirror, mirror, on the wall…

How does one change the perception of themselves?

  • First of all, when you look in the mirror, push out all negative thoughts. Anytime a negative thought about yourself enters your mind, cast it aside and replace it with something positive. What physical features do you like about yourself…? Your hair, your smile, your eyes, your body shape, anything at all!
  • Look at all you do for others, your family and friends or even total strangers. You have so much to offer others. Some things you do on a daily basis can be considered valuable and beautiful!
  • Approach the mirror mentally prepared… ready to search for all the beautiful things about yourself. Start with something you already know you like about your appearance. Then let your mind naturally wander to another thing you like about your appearance. Going in with a blank mind ready for positivity will allow you to think of all those things that are good instead of automatically focusing on things that you don’t like so much.
  • Even without the mirror, you can spend a few minutes a day thinking about all you accomplished recently, and all the good works you do on a daily basis. This doesn’t make you conceited. Boosting your self-esteem actually makes you more efficient and productive. You can be more helpful to others if you believe yourself to be just that.
  • Every time you take a peek in the mirror, allow yourself to be proud and happy with your appearance and all you have accomplished outside of what the mirror can tell you. Mirrors don’t tell the whole story, obviously. They can only show you what you can physically see at any one given moment. What about all of those other moments accumulated throughout the day that happen that are positive?

So what do you think of your reflection…? Physical reflection, the reflection of yourself that you see in others, and the reflection in your mind based on your thoughts of yourself. It is a process in itself to change these thought processes to be more positive and not put yourself down every time you think of it. It takes hard work and consistent practice, but you are very much capable of that!

So often we think of ourselves as failures just because we don’t accomplish everything we set out to accomplish or everything we “need” to do in a day. We are so much more than that! We need to focus on all of the things we do accomplish, all we do for ourselves and others that is good.

Tell me a bit about you and what you want to accomplish this week. Are you going to be kinder to yourself if you don’t accomplish everything? Are you going to try to alter your mental reflection of yourself?

~Bonnie~

Loving Yourself

love yourself

In this day and age, it is so important to practice self-love because even if we have loved ones in our lives that truly show how much they love and appreciate us, we still need to have a healthy dose of love for ourselves. Media and negative people are all over the place and can bombard us with critical thoughts. However, we can build a strong defense against these thoughts by being kind to ourselves and building love in our hearts.

Yes, I know it is so much easier to say than to do, but with time and practice you can get there! For me personally, I’m still working on it which makes it that much more important to me to share this with you all. To be honest, some days I can’t stop criticizing myself no matter how many times I correct myself right away. As soon as I have a critical thought about myself, I think “Don’t be so mean to yourself,” and try to replace it with something positive. For example, I chide myself for saying something that felt stupid, and instead say, “You’re human, that’s perfectly understandable and that person isn’t dissecting your words like you are. It was just a normal conversation and you didn’t say anything wrong.”

It’s a process like anything else, but is very worth doing and practicing on a daily basis. You will get to a place where you love yourself as much as others love you, or even more!

So I challenge you… to post or write down THREE things about yourself, your abilities, or your accomplishments that you like! Look back on this list when you’re feeling down or simply need a boost.

Bonus: post or write down one thing you can do each day that will show love for yourself and/or build your self-esteem. Make sure it’s something you can fit into your everyday life and stick with.

I will post in the comments my own response to this challenge, so feel free to read that to get some ideas for your own! Just remember that you are a unique person with a lot to offer, to yourself as well as others. You are indeed strong and powerful!

~Bonnie~

Thriving Thursday- Be Kind to Yourself

wake up and be awesome

In order to truly thrive in life we need to be kind to ourselves. All of us have those negative, counterproductive, and self-depreciating thoughts at some point or another. I have been working on rewiring my brain for over a year now and I still have those types of thoughts on almost a daily basis. However they are less often and less debilitating.

When we are constantly belittling ourselves with those thoughts, we begin to believe them. We begin to feel badly about ourselves and our abilities. This affects how we go about our jobs, household tasks, other everyday activities, and also how we communicate with others. Those dark thoughts can really grab hold of us, holding on so tightly that we feel incapable of doing anything successfully.

Be happy, do what you love!
Be happy, do what you love!

So how can we change this way of thinking? I’m sure there are countless methods and opinions, but I will share with you how I personally did it. When I started my health and weigh loss journey last May, I never imagined that I would work so much on my mind in the process. It didn’t take me long to begin wondering for the first time why I was so mean to myself. Why did I call myself “stupid?” Why did I constantly beat myself up? And how was this affecting my view of myself and my actual ability to succeed?

After I had that epiphany, every time I recognized one of those negative thoughts invading my mind, I would quickly tell myself, “No…” and then think of something positive. Sometimes I simply reminded myself that everyone is human and no one is perfect. Other times I would also remind myself of my strengths and accomplishments. I still slip up probably around once or twice a day with negative thoughts, but it is all a process and I will continue working on it because I know I have already made great strides.

Thinking more kind and positive thoughts about myself has spilled over into other aspects of my life. For example, I feel more love and compassion for others. I also have so much more confidence in myself than ever before. I believe I will always be self conscious on some level but I also know it will continue to improve over time.

Be kind to yourself, replace the negative with the positive. Believe that you are a beautiful and strong person, and remind yourself of that everyday!

~Bonnie~